Hanoi, Saigon residents face fake news weekly: survey

By Phan Anh   May 22, 2019 | 09:34 pm GMT-8
Hanoi, Saigon residents face fake news weekly: survey
Users in Hanoi and Saigon identify social media and news websites as the most frequent sources of fake news. Photo by Reuters/Kham
About half of Hanoi and Saigon residents encounter fake news at least once a week, a survey has found.

Done by market research firm Indochina Research, the "Hot Spots" survey interviewed at least 300 people from 18 to 60 years of age in the two major Vietnamese cities about the frequency in which they encounter fake news and where they encounter them, among others.

63 percent of the respondents said they had seen fake news in the last three months. Of these, 65 percent said they faced fake news at least once a week. That translated to about 41 percent of both cities’ populations encountering fake news at least once a week, the research firm said as it released the survey last month.

45 percent of the respondents identified social media and news websites as the most frequent sources of fake news, while 44 percent said they found it on news websites. Traditional newspapers followed at 30 percent, television 15 and radio 7.

The most frequent fake news encounters were reported by males aged 18 to 34 in Hanoi with middle to high income category, who got online daily, the survey found.

88 percent of the respondents agreed that more actions should be taken to prevent fake news, indicating that people are well aware and concerned about fake news and their impacts on daily lives.

Vietnamese spend around seven hours a day online, of which 2.5 hours on average are spent on social media. YouTube is the second-most accessed site in the country with a user ratio of 59 percent, behind Facebook at 61 percent, according to a 2018 report by We Are Social.

Last November, Hanoi issued an appeal for residents to spread "positive, humanitarian" content rather than "false, degrading" misinformation, claiming information that degrades reputation and dignity, incites violence, or otherwise negatively affects people are becoming increasingly apparent online.

Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Information and Communications, also said at a National Assembly session that the ministry has already set up a national center that can read, analyze, evaluate and categorize 100 million messages on social networks per day.

The move is a response to the spread of false information, culturally inappropriate images and fraudulent activities on the Internet and social networks that is growing globally, he said.

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